Survey of Jewish cemeteries

map of the Surveys

About the project

Between 2019-2022, with funding from the European Union, the ESJF surveyed and mapped 4,097 Jewish cemeteries across 9 European countries, including, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova and Greece, using cutting edge drone technology. With the data we gathered, we created a comprehensive, open-access database of European Jewish cemeteries, which has maps and descriptions of each cemetery we visited.

Jewish cemeteries are still under threat of destruction due to the devastating impact of the past. The main reasons for this are:

  • In many small towns and villages, there are no longer any Jewish communities that are able to protect and maintain Jewish cemeteries. After decades of abandonment, these burial sites have decayed over time.
  • State programs for the protection of Jewish cemeteries as historical and cultural monuments are non existent or limited. Vandalism and theft of tombstones therefore remains a common practice, as well as unauthorised seizure of land by neighbours and use for household needs.
  • In some countries, a significant part of Jewish cemeteries are not included in the land cadastral register as cemeteries. The privatisation of land and its further sale and development is therefore possible.

The EU grants were carried out as a consortium with the renowned Jewish education NGO, Centropa, as well as the UK-based non-profit, the Foundation for Jewish Heritage (FJH), who complimented the ESJF’s survey work with educational and architectural preservation to help support the grants overarching goal of Jewish cemetery preservation. In 2021, the consortium received further funding to carry out this mission. More details of this grant can be found on the project website: